Annsam is one to watch as Boyne Cup winner wins with authority
Owner Wayne Clifford has enjoyed some memorable victories in recent years, not least with Coole Cody in the Paddy Power Gold Cup of 2020, its December equivalent a year on and the Festival Plate in March last year. Coole Cody’s exploits have hidden under a bushel the exploits of one Annsam, whose 8 victories have already amassed over ┬ú113k in earnings. It was Annsam’s time to shine this afternoon in the Boyne Cup Handicap Chase, where he appeared to have plenty in hand over runner-up The Wolf for the 2 1/2l winning distance for jockey Adam Wedge.
Annsam is a home-bred, by Black Sam Bellamy out of Bathwick Annie, and bred from Clifford’s farm near Lacock in Wiltshire. He’s the most successful of Bathwick Annie’s 6 offspring to date by some distance, although David Pipe and Neil Mulholland have both enjoyed modest success with others. At just 8, Annsam is in his prime, and the Clifford colours may readily be carried in more three mile handicaps to come by the authority of this win.
The day was largely defined, however, by a memorable double for Alistair Ralph and his conditional rider Jay Tidmarsh, who cobbled together a 12.5/1 double in the opening mares’ novices hurdle and 3m handicap hurdle later in the afternoon. Ludlow has been a happy hunting ground for Ralph this season; this included his sixth winner from just 21 runners, and took Tidball’s career tally to 15.
Magical Maggie, the first of the Ralph winners, has been exploring Midlands courses after wins at Southwell, Bangor, Uttoxeter and Ludlow. She ran on gamely enough despite an awkward head carriage and drifting to the right after the last. She may well reappear again in similar contests before the season is out.
Ralph’s second winner, Scherbobalob, joined the yard from Tony Carroll last autumn and hasn’t been catching the eye much till today. But they say every horse has its day, and despite a sketchy jump at the last, the 3l victory was fluent enough.
Finish of the day came in the Rob Barnwell 60th Celebration Novices Hurdle in which three landed together over the last two flights before Space Voyage just managed to assert by a neck over Ajp Kingdom at the line. Winning trainer Olly Murphy is in hot form with 11 winners in the past fortnight to take the seasonal tally to 74.
La Renommee has clearly taken a liking to Ludlow, following up a 1 1/4l victory in a novices handicap with a further win in a mares chase here, this time by 3/4l. She is a 39th season’s winner for Dr Richard Newland, who has by and large been short of Saturday horses but nevertheless amassed nearly ┬ú1/2m in prize money.
Another trainer farming the smaller races to maintain momentum is Ben Pauling. His investment in a new yard at Naunton has been justified by an excellent season whose 78 winners have rewarded owners with over ┬ú800k in earnings, but highly rated winners have proved elusive in a fiercely competitive market that has recently seen contemporaries like Harry Whittington rescind their trainer’s licence. Norley won convincingly by 9 1/4l when coasting to the line in the weatherbysshop.co.uk Handicap Hurdle; the winning distance might as easily have been double for rider Beau Morgan.
London Bus syndrome is a well known phenomenon. it was barely more than a week ago when amateur rider jonjo Murphy Knight scored a debut winner on Fix it All in a hunter chase here, and he was at it again on the same horse in the concluding Eddie Mapp Memorial Hunters event, overcoming some scrimmaging at the third last to win going away, winning owner and trainer Michael Scudamore totting up a 12th winner of the term.